College basketball coaches don't comprehend offseasons. Rest is a rumor with high school tournaments soon to engulf their summer schedules.
These days, Brian Katz of Sacramento State and Jim Les of UC Davis are working the phones, the Internet and sometimes their own players in an effort to inch their programs forward following 14-win seasons. Not that Katz and Les participate much in drills. Their bodies are shot, but not their voices and vision.
"My game now is all talk," said Les, the former Kings guard, amid laughter. "I can't play anymore. These kids would whip my butt. I've lost my mojo. And I've seen too many coaches with a torn ACL or Achilles' when they think they can still shoot a little. I let our guys think I can still play, and then just keep talking."
Katz arrives at work before sunup. He has surrounded himself with longtime associates, including Chris Walker, whom the coach promoted from director of basketball operations to assistant coach. Walker was a Bee All-Metro guard in the early 2000s at Foothill High School. He also played for Katz at Delta College in Stockton. Katz said he may one day coach against Walker.
"In my 37 years of coaching, Chris is the smartest player I've had," Katz said. "Unbelievable leader, the best, with a great future. What a silent assassin."
According to reports, All-America defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes of Placer may not be headed to Notre Dame, the school he signed a national letter of intent with in February. The senior has not said publicly if he will attend summer school in South Bend, Ind., next month or pursue a release from the Irish.
Notre Dame officials this week offered no updates. Vanderdoes' father, Eddie Vanderdoes III, said via text, "One thing I can tell you is grades or eligibility is not and has never been an issue."
The next wave of area football players generating recruiting interest include soon-to-be seniors: receiver Alex Van Dyke and offensive tackle Kameron Schroeder of Cosumnes Oaks, offensive tackle Kolton Miller of Roseville and Burbank defensive back Calvin Green.
Oregon and Washington visited Cosumnes Oaks this week.
Roseville coach Larry Cunha said the 6-foot-7, 285-pound Miller received more than 150 pieces of recruiting mail the past three weeks. Cunha calls Miller the best specimen on campus since Tedy Bruschi in 1990.
Around the region
Underclass recruits on the rise include Folsom quarterback Jake Browning and Granite Bay linebacker Cameron Smith, who looks to chase down Browning in a Week 1 contest this fall. Folsom and Granite Bay are the likely preseason Bee Nos. 1 and 2 teams.
Andrew Endicott of Jesuit will kick for Wisconsin's football team this fall. He was initially headed to Nevada but jumped at the chance to compete with the Badgers of the Big 10 Conference, insisting the colder the weather, "the better."
Sac State football coach Marshall Sperbeck has added Bill Laveroni to his staff to coach the offensive line. Laveroni has 40 years of experience, including at his alma mater Cal in the 1980s and six seasons with the Seattle Seahawks.
After breaking a 33-year-old Sac-Joaquin Section Masters high jump record with a 7-foot effort Thursday, Center senior Xavier Howell now targets a state title. The only local to win a state title in the high jump was Griffin Childers of Woodland in 1992 (6-11).